New Barbie-themed restaurant is all dolled up
January 31st, 2013
09:05 AM ET
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Taiwan. Home to the first Hello Kitty-themed café, Hello Kitty-themed airplanes and now - taking cute perhaps one step too far - the world's first Barbie-themed restaurant.

Licensed by U.S. toymaker Mattel, Taiwan restaurant company Sinlaku on Wednesday opened the Barbie Café on Zhongxiao road, one of the busiest shopping districts in the capital, Taipei.

The café's decoration, costing TW$50 million (US$1.7 million), is mostly in suitably Barbie-style magenta and pink.

The furniture couldn't be more princess-y - bar tables look like the heel of a stiletto, chair backs resemble bustiers (some with a tutu) and chandeliers are shaped like elegant teapots and teacups with saucers. Barbie dolls and logos adorn walls and tabletops.

Read the full story - Tutus, tiaras and tiramisu: World's first Barbie restaurant opens

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Filed under: Asia • Bite • Restaurants • Theme • Travel


August 4th, 2011
10:45 AM ET
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iReport above courtesy of hluu410

A trip to Hong Kong is about extreme capitalism - or extreme dining.

A visitor is usually here to cut a deal or, better yet, cut through all the wheeling and dealing and devour a decent meal. Thankfully, you are spoiled for choice in the city.

Among my favorite local delights (and there are many!) is Hee Kee's spicy Typhoon Shelter crab, the long-celebrated egg tarts at Tai Cheong Bakery, and a scoop of "Hong Kong milk tea" gelato at XTC.

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Filed under: Asia • Asian • Bite • Cuisines • Destination Adventure • Hong Kong • iReport • Travel


July 6th, 2011
12:15 PM ET
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A restaurant in Tokyo is crowded with customers, but on the menu isn’t raw fish, but raw meat – chicken, pork, beef and even horse meat.

About half the customers at “Niku Sushi” (Japanese for “raw meat”) are women like Aya Kanazawa, who comes three times a week and proudly calls herself “a carnivore girl.” It’s not just her culinary tastes she’s talking about. In an odd way, the battle between meat and fish parallels the battle of the sexes and Japan’s moribund economy.
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Filed under: Asia • Asian • Cultural Identity • Culture • Japan • Japanese • Travel


February 10th, 2011
11:00 AM ET
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In Hong Kong, where factory space is stacked in skyscrapers, the 15th floor of an industrial block houses vast tanks in which thousands of rare fish swim under the eerie, purple glow of UV lights.

Normally found thousands of miles away on the reefs of the tropics, the coral grouper are being bred on land in one of the world's most densely populated metropolises to feed a local population that consumes 3.6 times the global average in seafood.

Sold live, fish like leopard coral grouper are highly valued in China, where ostentatious dining calls for expensive and attractive centerpieces for celebratory or business banquets - last week during the Lunar new Year a single fish could cost around $130.

But even the tons of fish swimming in the tanks of OceanEthix incongruous high rise facility can't sate a growing market for live reef fish in Hong Kong and mainland China that is worth around $1 billion each year.

Read Small fish, big business: Asia's billion dollar live reef fish trade

Previously – Growing shrimp in the desert and The shrimp are coming from inside the house

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Filed under: Aquaculture • Asia • Business and Farming News • China • Environment • Farms • Sustainability • Travel


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